Arlene Phillips offered new ‘Strictly’ role

Axed Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has been offered a new role on the next series of the show, according to the papers.

The Sun reports that the 66-year-old – who is being replaced on the panel by former winner Alesha Dixon when the new series begins in September – has been asked to be a key choreographer on the show. This means she will be responsible for creating the group dance routines.

She is also reportedly in talks with the BBC for a possible guest slot on the spin-off show It Takes Two, and has finally confirmed she will be the show’s correspondent for The One Show.

“Arlene may not be a judge any more but we still want her on board as her expertise is unparalleled,” a show source told the paper.

“We’ve offered her a role doing what she does best, which is choreography. As viewers know, the group dances are highly technical so it’s not an easy thing to do.”

The offer is being viewers as an olive branch to Phillips by BBC bosses after she was ousted from the judging panel to make way for Dixon – who at 30 is less than half her age.

Thousands of fans accused the corporation of ageism, and the ensuing controversy even reached Parliament, with MPs joining in the debate.

The ageism row flared up again after it was revealed that 39-year-old professional dancer Karen Hardy had been dropped from the show and replaced by someone younger.

Hardy will now appear as a pundit on It Takes Two.

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